Hormones as Etiological Agents in Neoplasia

  • Jacob Furth

Abstract

The hormonal concept of carcinogenesis was initiated by the intuitive studies of Beatson (1896) on the relation of breast cancer to the ovary. Epidemiological studies of mammary tumors of highly inbred strains of mice led Bittner and his associates (Bittner, 1946–1947) to the recognition of genetic, viral, and hormonal components in the development of breast cancer. Independently, Rous and Kidd (1941), on the basis of experimental studies on induction of skin cancers with carcinogens, advanced the multifactorial concept of tumorigenesis and postulated the existence of latent cancer cells. The recognition of “progression” during the course of neoplastic disease was best conceived by Foulds (cf. 1969). Finally, the recognition of immunosurveillance (Burnet, 1970; Jerne, 1973; Klein, 1973–1974) and of immunological and hormonal factors capable of restraining or enhancing tumor growth completed the picture of the complexity of forces involved in initiation and growth of tumors. The last of these—hormones—is reviewed here in light of all other forces.

Keywords

Leukemia Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Glucocorticoid Estradiol Aldosterone 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Furth
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Cancer ResearchColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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